Three of Del Shakes’ core values are Diversity, Community, and Openness.
In the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, 25% of the action steps related to diversity. Those action steps are listed here.
Note from Producing Artistic Director David Stradley: “As I look back on these action steps, I see that they mainly represent a mindset of what can diversity do for Del Shakes rather than what Del Shakes can do to advance diversity and equity in our community. In the coming months, we’ll be developing a Diversity Dashboard that reports on our successes and shortcomings at being an organization that advances equity as part of its operations. In the meantime, I hope sharing these strategies reflects that taking actions to promote diversity is a core part of our operational practices. As a small organization, we made the decision to focus our efforts on racial diversity during this strategic plan. We recognize that a fuller approach to diversity will also need to include gender, sexuality, and ability, and other considerations.”
GOAL 1: DEEPER ROOTS
Del Shakes will produce theatrical programming that profoundly engages many diverse audiences, becoming an essential touchstone in the cultural climate of our community.
Objective A. By 2021, the Del Shakes Summer Festival audience will double its non-white members (from 8.5% to 17%), and Del Shakes will continue to be deliberate in welcoming, encouraging, and valuing diversity at all its programming and among its workers.
1. At least 40% of Del Shakes promotional images on website, selected press photos, in brochures) will reflect racial or gender diversity (i.e., women in traditional male roles).
2. Develop learning programs with youth groups featuring racial diversity (at least one a year outside of The Bridge; two a year if The Bridge is eliminated).
3.Develop performing and learning partnerships with organizations/populations typically underrepresented in professional theatre audiences (at least 4 a year).
4. Explore information distribution systems (radio, websites, social media groups) used by groups typically underrepresented in professional theatre audiences.
5. Create Shakespeare Ambassador program of advocates among groups typically underrepresented in professional theatre audiences.
6. Programming & Audience board committee will establish regular meeting schedule and make annual recommendations/assessments of Del Shakes efforts to accomplish Objective A.
7. Explore LGBT and other theme nights at Summer Festival that connect to diversity beyond race/ethnicity (at least one a year).
Objective C. Del Shakes will continue to identify, employ, and value highly-qualified artists from the region, with a focus on artists who embrace Del Shakes’ community-based ethos.
4. Develop and maintain list of actors of color.
5. Develop and maintain designer list, highlighting artists of color and female/non-binary artists.
Objective F. Del Shakes will strive for diversity on its board, committees, and volunteer roster.
1. At least 20% of board will consist of people of color.
2. Del Shakes board will reflect 50/50 gender equity, while realizing this is a binary measurement.
3. Each board committee will have at least one person of color as a member.
4. At least 20% of the list of potential board and committee members will consist of people of color.
5. Del Shakes will recruit volunteers from organizations that reflect racial, gender, and sexual diversity.
GOAL 2: GREATER SUSTAINABILITY
Del Shakes will grow revenue, programming, and staff toward becoming a $500K+ arts organization that receives multi-year funding commitments and pays competitive wages to artists and year-round staff.
Objective C. On a per production basis, Del Shakes will develop relationships with specific targeted audiences that may have interest in production themes or personnel to both increase and diversify audiences.
2. Identify Shakespeare Ambassador at each identified group.
Objective E. Del Shakes will develop a bench of 5-10 candidates for board and committee membership, with candidates added each time a board or committee member transitions off.
3. Lists will strive to have 2 or more candidates representing demographics other than upper middle class Caucasian (see other strategies in Goal 1, Objective F).